How to Fix Hard Shifting Automatic Transmission

Driver find it's difficult to shift its automatic gear.

Automatic transmissions are intended to make driving a whole lot more convenient. Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, maybe very inconvenient when they aren’t functioning properly. It is undoubtedly problematic when your transmission slips, but it may lead to additional problems down the road if you ignore the problem.

Experts say that replacing the transmission is costly and replacing the engine is more expensive than other car maintenance costs. You may anticipate spending between $1,800 and $3,400 for a transmission repair or replacement. Whereas rebuilding the transmission will cost you around $3,000, based on the brand and model of your car and the severity of the damages.

If you act quickly after detecting a problem, you may substantially decrease the expense of transmission repair and avoid the need for a replacement. You should take your car to a technician or repair shop as soon as you notice any of the following problems with it. There is no such thing as a car issue that goes away or gets fixed on its own! They may do more significant harm to the engine in the long run if they’re not dealt with right away.

What Causes An Automatic Transmission To Shift Hard?

Transmission Fluid Leakage

Unsecured drain plugs, loose pans, torque converter or fluid line damage, and broken pan gaskets are potential transmission fluid leakage sources. Changing the transmission fluid as often won’t make a difference. When fluid levels fluctuate oddly or bizarrely, neither your engine nor transmission will function optimally. By repairing the leakage and keeping fluid levels stable, you may expect your car’s lifespan to be substantially extended.

Dark Fluid 

As with engine oil, transmission fluid degrades and becomes contaminated with debris and other impurities. An abnormally high wear-out level in your transmission may cause your transmission fluid to darken faster than expected. This rapid degradation may be caused by a faulty bearing or a clutch or band nearing the end of its useful life. If you detect darkish fluid, you should try replacing your transmission fluid more frequently than the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Sensor-related Issues

Various sensors, such as those that regulate how and when your car’s transmission shifts, are standard features in almost all advanced vehicles. The sensors may have trouble moving if they don’t get the correct signals and readings. Slow sensors or sensors that get the incorrect signals from the engine may cause hard shifting. The car seems to be moving more slowly or more rapidly than it may be due to a malfunctioning speed sensor.

Unusual Noises

Your transmission’s fluid pump makes the most noise. Your transmission’s fluid pump, which is responsible for creating high pressures that influence shift timing, may become loud, much like your power steering pump, when the fluid level in your vehicle drops or becomes contaminated. Similarly, if a pump is malfunctioning or an obstruction elsewhere in the system producing abnormally high pressures, the pump may become loud. If your pump makes much noise, replace the fluid and see if the noise changes.

Having a faulty bearing in your vehicle makes another noise that you should listen for. Similarly to a defective wheel bearing or problematic transmission bearings may generate humming and vibrations that vary depending on the vehicle’s speed and gear.

Noises in Neutral That Are Unusual

On the occasion that you believe your car needs repair work, try placing it in neutral and listening for odd groans, ticks, or whines. When transmission parts like gear teeth or bearings wear down, their noises typically indicate a malfunctioning transmission.

You Can Smell Transmission When It Is Burning 

An unpleasant odor of burnt rubber emanates from transmission fluid when it is heated to high levels. This odor suggests the presence of a leak, which is leaking onto hot engine components, or a very filthy fluid, which has to be drained and replaced. Your transmission and engine suffer exactly as much damage when you drive your car with dirty or outdated transmission fluid.

The Vehicle Shakes When the Gear Shifts (Manual and Automatic Transmissions)

Transmissions that are properly working make your ride smooth even while shifting gears. You may have low transmission fluid or need to replace the fluid in your automatic transmission if it is shifting harshly, shaking, jerking, or requiring replacements during a shift change. Unusual gear shifts in manual transmission cars may indicate worn clutches, broken gear synchros, or other more severe issues with the transmission.

Slipping Gears

As long as your gear is in perfect condition, your car will remain in one gear until you want to shift into another. Whenever your gearbox slips, the rpm may rise to over 3,500, or it may take some time to shift back down to normal. It’s also possible that your car may appear to stall when you step on the throttle, which signals that it’s not delivering enough power to the engine’s internal combustion. Faulty or worn-out bands may also cause transmission slippage.

Common Fixes for a Transmission that Shifts Hard

Start with the Quickest and Most Straightforward Solution

Troubleshooting begins with a tried-and-true maxim “repair what’s easiest and most affordable first.” To begin, make sure the transmission fluid is at its correct level. Low transmission fluid levels may lead to a transmission that shifts hardly. Identifying the source of the fluid shortage and addressing any issues is critical. It may be caused by a leakage seal or another mechanical fault. If this is not the case, injecting more fluid will not address the issue in the long run.

Fluid Change

Low shift quality may be caused by transmission fluid that has degraded over time and lost part of its friction properties. Hydraulic pressure supplied by fluid squeezes a set of plates within a clutch pack to link the engine to the transmission output shaft and channel power to the wheels when your car’s computer instructs the transmission to shift gears. For the clutch plates to bind together and gear shifts to run smoothly, the frictional properties of the fluid are crucial. Frictional properties of the fluid may deteriorate with time, resulting in harsh, abrupt, or slippery shifting. In this particular instance, it is necessary to make a smooth transition of fluid change.

Final Thoughts

Many factors may contribute to a difficult-to-shift automatic transmission. As with any other car issue, understanding when to repair your transmission can help you avoid severe and expensive damage from taking place.